VMware vCloud Director – Installation of PostgreSQL and Migration from Oracle

In one of my lab instances, I currently have Oracle still running as my backend vCloud Director database. In this post, I am going to document the steps it takes to install Postgres10 and migrate away from Oracle.

Preparation

First, taking a snapshot of my vCD instance – always back up before making any type of database changes! 🙂

Next, my system is a little dated, so I am running a yum update to get all of the latest binaries before we install PgSQL.

I am also running RHEL, so your steps may different based on your distribution.

Installing and Starting PostgreSQL 10

My esteemed colleague, Sean Smith, wrote a nice post on setting up an all-in-one vCD appliance here so I am going to borrow his steps on installing PgSQL 10.

Get the RPM and start the install –

rpm -Uvh https://yum.postgresql.org/10/redhat/rhel-7-x86_64/pgdg-centos10-10-2.noarch.rpm
yum install postgresql10-server postgresql10

Let’s initialize the database –

service postgresql-10 initdb

From there, using chkconfig to enable it to start on boot –

chkconfig postgresql-10 on

Ready to start!

service postgresql-10 start

Let’s change the password to the default postgres account (ignore my superweak password) –

Before we can make the authentication change, we need to set the default postgres user password.

Switch user to postgres and type in psql followed by a \password to set it –

su - postgres
psql
\password

\q and go back into the root console.

Finally, we need to allow authentication to the database. I am going to allow full access to local and remote logins to the database.

Edit the /var/lib/pgsql/10/data/pg_hba.conf file and modify this line –

local all all  peer

to

local all all md5

And adding this line below –

host all all 0.0.0.0/0 md5

Now, edit the postgresql.conf file and remove the # from the ‘listen_addresses line –

Finally, restart the postgresql-10 service –

We are now ready for the next step which is creating the new vCloud database that we can move over to.

Setting up the new vCloud database on PostgreSQL 10

We are now ready to create our new database and prepare it for the migration.

First, let’s switch user over to the postgres account and enter psql –

su - postgres

We need to create the vcloud account with a password –

create user vcloud with password 'vcloudpass';

Now I’m ready to create my vcloud database. I already have my vcloud user account on the system, so no need to create that again. Following these instructions from the VMware master docs.

create database vcloud owner vcloud;

Finally, altering it so it enables the database owner on login:

alter role vcloud with login;

From here, one can setup SSL for secured communication. Since this is my lab, I’m going to skip over that configuration.

Stopping the vCD Instance and Migrating

Let’s stop the vCD service –

Now we can follow the instructions here on the documentation on using the cell-management-tool for dbmigrate

cell-management-tool is under /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin –

Now we are ready to run the cell-management-tool dbmigrate command. For me, this was my configuration – it will differ based on your setup.

./cell-management-tool dbmigrate -dbhost vcd-01a.corp.local -dbport 5432 -dbuser vcloud -dbname vcloud -dbpassword vcloudpass

Processing….

Awesome!

Ready now to run the reconfigure-database command, and boom! Complete.

/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin/cell-management-tool reconfigure-database -dbhost vcd-01a.corp.local -dbport 5432 -dbuser vcloud -dbname vcloud -dbpassword vcloudpass -dbtype postgres

Let’s start back up vCD….

We are back up and running!

Lessons Learned

  1. While this was not a difficult task, every distribution is different, inclusive of Sean’s post where he did the installation and setup of PostgreSQL-10.
  2. The cell-management-tool works great for database migrations to PostgreSQL-10.
  3. Note that I did not setup SSL communication. This requires further steps to set it up. Sean did a great job on the steps here.
  4. Test, test, test before you do this in production.

Thanks!

-Daniel

How does VMware vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud 1.5 interoperate with vCD Cross-VDC Networking?

I get this question quite a bit due to the new vCloud Director 9.5 Cross-VDC networking functionality – does vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud 1.5 (C2C) work with stretched networking inside of Cross-VDC networking?

The answer is: yes!

This is another great addition for recoverability considerations as one could fail over between vCloud Director instances without modifying the guest OS IP address. Furthermore, based on the application architecture, one could have active-active applications and ensure replication/failover in the event of a disaster.

Let’s go through my example high-level design I’ve worked up in my lab –

Example Cross-VDC setup with vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud 1.5

In the above diagram, we can see I have two active vCloud Director instances, Site-A and Site-B. I have two organizations, “Daniel” that resides in Site-A along with “Daniel-B” that resides in Site-B.

C2C is deployed on each site in the combined model and I have multi-site pairing completed so I can easily manage this between my two sites –

Within my Cross-VDC networking setup, I currently have my active egress setup to Site-A as depicted in the diagram above.

Last of all, I ran a protected workflow from Site-A to Site-B for my Stretched-vApp-VM –

From there, one can either migrate or failover the workload and without any guest OS IP changes. I am going to do a video shortly, but here’s a short GIF I created that shows the ease of use of failing over between my Site-A and Site-B –

via GIPHY

After failover, I can then access Stretched-vApp-VM from the new NAT address on Site-B.

An Organization Administrator could also configure active/active or active/passive egress points for additional resiliency. This provides further capability inside of vCloud Director, especially with stretched networking and a complementary availability solution.

Thanks!

-Daniel

vCloud Director 9.5 Cross-VDC Networking Video Walkthrough and Discussion

Over the past few weeks, Wissam Mahmassani, Abhinav Mishra, and I have created a few walkthrough videos on setting up Cross-VDC networking inside of vCloud Director 9.5.

Unfamiliar with Cross-VDC networking in vCD? Check out this series of blog posts that review the capabilities and design considerations:

Intro and Use Cases

Getting Started with Cross-VDC

High-Level Provider Design

Design Considerations and Conclusion

The intent of these videos is to discuss setting up Cross-VDC networking in vCloud Director but also have a live chat on items we’ve learned along the way with working with it. Quite frankly, it was an open discussion between the team on the inner workings on vCD/NSX and what our development team has done in the backend.

Video Walkthrough

In the first video, we discuss the pre-requisites before we can start configuring vCloud Director for Cross-VDC networking. In essence, the assumption is cross-vCenter NSX has already been established and we have the primary and secondary NSX managers registered.

Next, we review the concept of creating a Datacenter group and what are the different egress options. This is very important as it explicitly controls how traffic exits the overlay environment.

Here, we discuss how BGP weights control our active/passive egress points and what vCD automates in the backend. The key is this is all done without provider/tenant configuration – vCD automates this process.

As a final wrap-up of the BGP weights, we review creation of the stretched networks inside of vCloud Director along with operational management inside of the vCD H5 UI.

Last of all, we demonstrate testing of Cross-VDC and failover of my “Daniel-App” between the two sites. What’s interesting is the ability to migrate egress points without any loss of connectivity. Unintended failover is managed by BGP weights, which the default timer is 60 seconds and could be revised if required.

As stated before, this shows the requirement of having a mirror Edge configuration, especially for NAT configuration and failover testing between sites.

This was a fun experience with the team while reviewing and having open discussions on Cross-VDC networking. We are hoping these are valuable for those of you that are interested in bringing this as a new service inside of vCloud Director.

Thanks!

-Daniel

How is ECMP metered when configured in the Provider architecture within the VMware Cloud Provider Program?

Recently, I received a request from one of our aggregators regarding how Equal Cost Multipathing (ECMP) is metered within the VMware Cloud Provider Program (VCPP), specifically Tom Fojta’s recommendation on architecting Provider-managed NSX Edges and Distributed Logical Router (DLR) in ECMP mode, specifically this diagram from the Architecting a VMware vCloud Director Solution – 

As shown in the diagram above – How does Usage Meter handle bill these tenant virtual machines (VMs) when we have a provider NSX architecture that utilizes ECMP? 

For you TL;DR readers – any VM connected to a Tenant Edge / direct network that has ECMP enabled northbound, NSX Advanced will be charged for said VM. Read on if you want to learn how this is done. 

First off, let’s talk about why this matters. Per the Usage Meter Product Detection whitepaper (this can be found on VMware Partner Central), we can see how Usage Meter detects specific NSX features based on the pattern of usage. Regarding dynamic ECMP, it is metered by the “Edge gateway” which could be a little ambiguous. If one utilizes ECMP, they would be metered for NSX Advanced within VCPP. 

One of the scenarios from the whitepaper does show ECMP-enabled Edges but not an Edge that is abstracted away from the provider environment – 

My initial reaction was that Usage Meter would not look at the northbound provider configuration and the interconnectivity to vCloud Director. However, I was not confident and wanted to verify this explicit configuration and expected metering. Let’s review my findings. 

Lab Setup

In the above diagram, we can see I created a similar Provider managed NSX configuration with ECMP enabled from the DLR to the two Provider Edges with dynamic routing enabled (BGP). From there, I expose a LIF/Logical Switch named “ECMP-External-Network” to vCloud Director that is then exposed to my T2 organization as a new External Network.

From there, I created a dedicated Tenant Edge named “T2-ECMP-ESG” that will be attached to this newly created network along with a VM named “T2-ECMP-VM.” The goal is to verify how T2-ECMP-VM and T2-TestVM are metered by Usage Meter with this newly created Tenant Edge. 

Lab Configuration

My Edges are setup for BGP and reporting the correct routes from the southbound connected DLR (and tenant Edges) – 

From the DLR, we can see that I have two active paths to my Provider Edges (Provider-Edge-1 and 2) – 

Last of all, my T2-ECMP-ESG is operational and attached to the newly created ECMP External Network – 

Last of all, I have my VM’s created and powered on (remember, Usage Meter will only meter powered on VM’s). We can see T2-ECMP-VM is attached to a org routed network from T2-ECMP-ESG named “T2-ECMP-Network” – 

Findings

Let’s work from the north to south – start with the Provider Edges and show how Usage Meter detects and bills. 

Note – I have vROps Enterprise in my lab environment, so we will see Usage Meter picking up vROps registration and placing it in the appropriate bundle.

Provider Edges / DLR

As expected, the Provider Edges and DLR are detected along with registration to vROps. By design, NSX Edges are charged for the Advanced SP Bundle as they are metered as a management component (minimum Advanced bundle / 7-point). However, in my case, we see detection, and then registration to vROps Enterprise. Therefore, since it’s a bundle ID (BND) of 12, this is correlated to Advanced Bundle with Management (10-point) – 


Tenant Edge – T2-ECMP-ESG

Just like the Provider Edges and DLR, we see T2-ECMP-ESG register to UM along with vROps Enterprise registration. Same billing model as above. 

Tenant VM – T2-TestVM

I would not expect any change to this VM, but wanted to showcase that having a separate Edge with standard networking (i.e. no ECMP) will bill based off the NSX SP Base level. As expected, T2-TestVM was handled by Usage Meter just as anticipated – we can see registration, NSX SP Base usage, along with registration to vROps Enterprise – 

Tenant VM – T2-ECMP-VM

Finally, let’s take a look at my T2-ECMP-VM – as discussed before, this is wired to a Tenant Edge that is connected to the ECMP-enabled DLR via an External Network. 

We see initial registration, registration to vROps Enterprise, then NSX Advanced usage! This would be metered at Advanced Bundle with Networking and Management due to the NSX Advanced usage (12-point). 

Summary of Findings

Here’s what we learned:

  1. Edges/DLR Control VM’s are not charged for NSX usage since UM handles them as a management component. If you are using vROps, it will place it in the most cost effective bundle.
  2. Utilizing ECMP at the provider-level DOES impact any southbound connected VM from a billing perspective, even if an Edge sits in between the ECMP enabled configuration and the tenant VM. Per the findings, NSX Advanced will be metered. 
  3. Therefore, be aware of any NSX provider architecture and the use of NSX specific features. 

Again, this shows the logic inside of Usage Meter and how it relates to metering for tenant workloads. Cheers!

-Daniel